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"The past is now my future" by Lannie Butler. $20 includes s/H. I went to his workshop and learned alot! Don't argue with dementia. Don't try to teach them. Think about their habits in the past and work with that. Step into their world! Valudate them. They won't remember 5 minutes later.Give them 2 choices--blue or red, potatoes or meat. No one likes to be told what to do. Give them 90 seconds to respond. Only give them 2 commands, later only one at a time! If they used to take a bath in the morning, you'll have better luck in so doing. what were their habits in the past? Did they garden, farm, cook, nursing? Work with it. THink out of the box. Make things look like their past. Give them chewing gum if they are combative in the shower. They can't chew and hit at the same time. Never tell them they are wrong. Never tell them they hurt you. Step into their world and you'll get a lot more cooperation! It's not worth fighting about. It only makes them more mad, more resistive. They aren't going to change. They can't learn new things. Councilor might help you but I believe in support groups. Respite care. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of someone else. Take time for yourself. Always see if there is any physical reasons for problems. Diabetes is often the problem for dementia. Depression demises cognition. Vit D diffiencency looks like dementia! Kidney infections look like dementia. Depression lives in dark rooms. Dementia can't see in darkness and causes paranoia too. Use words they used years ago for better communication. You are important. Take time, try to do fun things. Let them make the bed any way they want to. They need to feel important. They need purpose. They need to feel some control over their life. Always keep your voice calm even though you are steaming. Yelling & arguing only makes them more mad. You both will more happy if you can figure out how they can do it their way without creating problems. I could go on. The book is excellent and has helped so many people! He has helped people talk & walk again, feed and dress themselves again. Has helped families cope and find peace in ways to work with the elderly and dementia. Hope I've helped someone. Many blessings in all you do for your loved one!
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NBcare18 - I'm a real wimp and don't like the word confront. Are you a little like that?

Something else you could try to respond to the bad attitude would be sympathy. When she says something cruel, say, "You must be feeling pretty bad to say something like that to me. Are you in pain, or are you just angry because you have to let us take care of you?" You are not "letting" her mistreat you, but you are also not attacking her. Theoretically, when you show love, it should soften her heart, and she will admit pain or sadness, and be a bit nicer.

Try it if you think it might help, but of course I don't know your aunt. Good luck!
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Thank you JessieBelle and Perseverance. You have both been very helpful, and thank you for the welcome. It is my aunt we are caring for. I am not the only one, thank goodness. Family members have told me I need to let her know that her treatment of me is unacceptable. I have been practicing saying "your treatment of me is unacceptable". I don't know why that seems so confrontational to me -- because she is so fragile? Also perhaps because I'm trained as a nurse, and I know on the job we just absorb attitudes and remain professional and positive and not respond. Just as I was thinking of that last night, I got a call from her that her physical condition has worsened, so I have not confronted her. I don't think this is the time. On the other hand I have not called her yet tonight to see how she is, and I knwo this is passive aggressive. This is so much harder than I ever thought it would be. I will post more in a bit.
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Caregiving is taxing, but can also be so very rewarding. The hardest part is setting boundaries and being resilient, not taking the offenses of our loved ones too seriously. Forgiveness is essential, as is setting boundaries. For example: Mom/Dad/etc, I love you very much but your words are very hurtful. I make many sacrifices to care for you in the best way I know how and you are being ungrateful. I forgive you, but I won't tolerate your negative remarks anymore. See you tomorrow (that is if you can walk away. If you can't call in backup forces - call other family members or call in caregivers through Home Instead).
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Tell us more. There are many people here who will know exactly how you feel. Welcome and vent away.
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